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Irish, Wes

Instructor Name: Irish, Wes

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General Information
 Base Airport   PAO
 Teaches At   PAO (SQL w/ prior agreement)
 Accepts New Students   Yes (as availability allows)
 Payment Types Accepted   I prefer check or cash, but I can accept credit card, Apple Pay, Android Pay, or PayPal. (rates and policies)
  (650) 248-3663
 Website (aka
 Hourly Rate   $100/hr (block discount available)
 Ratings Held   ATP, AMEL, ASEL, Gold Seal CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI, CE-525S Single-pilot Type Rating, Gyroplane, Remote Pilot Small UAS (Drone Pilot)
 AC Instructs In   Almost everything (see below)

 About the Instructor

AOPA 2018 Distinguished Flight Instructor Award Winner
WVFC CFI of the Year 2016
FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor

Ratings held:
Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Airplane Multi-engine Land (AMEL), Airplane Single-engine Land (ASEL), CE-525S Single-pilot Type Rating, 
Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII), Instrument and Advanced Ground Instructor (IGI, AGI), Gyroplane (Sport Pilot privileges), Remote Pilot small UAS (Commercial Drone Pilot)

AC Instructs in:
Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, Mooney, Piper, ... any/all club aircraft (except tailwheel).

Why are you a Certified Flight Instructor?

I love
flying, teaching, and sharing my love of aviation.

How long have you been instructing?

been an aviation instructor for 10 years. And I've been an instructor in other disciplines for over 30 years.

Do you tend to favor PAO or SQL, and how might it affect a student's ability to schedule time?

I prefer PAO for logistical reasons. But I will train out of SQL if necessary to meet certain needs (such as access to a make/model that is unavailable at PAO) or to accommodate personal situations when able. Please contact me before scheduling me at SQL.

How would you describe your availability in general?

I am a full-time instructor regularly available 5 days a week, including weekends (Wednesday and Thursday are usually my days off). I can often make myself available for multi-day trips and adventures or other special scheduling requests. Please read the availability section of the Rates & Policies page on my CFI website and then use 
Schedule Master to check my availability or schedule me accordingly. You may also contact me if you have special scheduling needs (or if you do not have access to Schedule Master).

What method of ground school do you prefer and how does it relate to your syllabus?

I feel that ground school is a very good value and a great way for any student pilot to get started. With that said, I am supportive of what works for a given student. Alternatives include one-on-one ground instruction, videos, books, on-line courses, or any combination thereof. Many of my students choose to read the assigned reading materials on their own or as I assign chapters to read, and then we simply review the content at the appropriate time during flight training.

What is your favorite aircraft to instruct in?

Favorite? I'm not sure that I have a favorite. There are few aircraft that I don't like. And every aircraft seems to fill a particular niche where it is "the best" aircraft for a particular situation. All other factors being equal, I prefer to instruct in newer aircraft with modern glass cockpits (the Garmin G1000, Garmin G3000, or Cirrus Perspective avionics suites).

What are your aircraft recommendations for a new student?

For Private Pilot training I believe that the Cessna 172SP is a very good basic aircraft that works well for instruction. If the student wants to learn in a low-wing aircraft I recommend the Diamond DA40. 
But I will instruct in almost any make or model, traditional or glass cockpit, to accommodate a particular student's needs. I also recommend glass cockpit instrumentation, such as the Garmin G1000. But I will train in aircraft with a traditional cockpit if the student prefers.

What percentage of your students pass their checkride on the first try?

I've only had one student pilot not pass their PPL checkride on the first try.

Additional Comments:

Flying should be fun, rewarding, and safe, and I strive to keep it that way. And it should prepare you for flying on your own in the real world, particularly in the challenging flying environment found in the Western US. My training curriculum includes additional training beyond the FAA minimums. For example, it includes a "very long cross country" (VLXC) to a mutually agreed upon destination. On the VLXC students learn how to plan for and deal with situations - such as the need for fuel planning and refueling - that simply do not typically arise on shorter flights.

Since flying makes even difficult-to-reach areas accessible, it is a great way to see new and interesting places, both near and far. In addition to all of the knowledge and skills that you will learn in the process of becoming a pilot, you also will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about geography, history, people, and places around the west, and beyond. I have been to every airport in California (240+), and have explored much of the US - including the beautiful but remote mountains and deserts of the backcountry - and I love to share that experience with others.